Microsoft is making further changes to the user interface of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, the latest of which is to remove the Windows Start button from the task bar.
The Start button has been present in all the flavors of the Windows operating system for the past 15 years. It was introduced in Windows 95 and has remained there to this day.
Those who gave the Windows 8 Developer preview a try have noticed that the Start button was present in the taskbar and that it brought the Metro Menu up when pressed (see the first image on the left).
The Beta flavor of the platform, set to arrive on the market as Windows 8 Consumer Preview, will change that by removing the Start button from the taskbar.
Leaked screenshots that made it online this weekend on Chinese website PC beta appear to prove that.
Apparently, Microsoft decided to replace the Start button orb with a hot corner, a recent article on The Verge suggests.
There will be a thumbnail-like user interface offering users the possibility to access the Windows desktop and Start Screen in Windows 8.
The interface will be activated when hovering over the lower-left corner of the screen in Windows 8. A thumbnail preview of what you can access from there will emerge.
The element should be there in touch mode as well, activated with a swipe, most probably. When in desktop mode, it will show a thumbnail preview of the Metro Menu.
The Superbar, which was introduced in Windows 7, will remain unchanged. The same as before, it will allow for the pinning of applications and shortcuts to webpages in Internet Explorer.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview – set to arrive later this month - is only one milestone in the development of Windows 8. The platform is expected to be released to manufacturing sometime in summer, and might arrive on shelves in fall. It will be the first flavor of Windows to sport touch enhancements.
You can download the Windows 8 Developer Preview Build 8102 M3 from Softpedia via this link.